We adopted my dog from the street a few weeks ago most of the time she's docile but occasionaly, probably 1 interaction in 20 she'll become very aggressive. These aggressive interactions include barking and showing her teeth to dogs while she's on the lead after a few seconds of interaction, barking aggressively at specific people in the street and being aggressive with other dogs while she's playing with them off the lead. Most of the time she seems okay but when she gets aggressive she's very aggressive


3 Answers 3


If this dog was not rescued as a puppy: Unpredictable behaviors are common with rescued dogs. Since there is very rarely any way to tell what the dog has been through many of their behaviors or ticks can be unpredictable. Aggressiveness with other dogs is common if they were rescued from a place with a lot of dogs but not a lot of resources such as space or food. Aggressiveness to specific people can mean they were either harassed or even abused by people who give the dog the same impression as those they are aggressive to now. Of course this is all speculation since the true story of this dog is unknown. But what can you do? Simple, teach it to be less aggressive. Reward it each time it plays friendly with another dog, or greets a person in a friendly manner. Pay attention to exactly what situations it gets aggressive in and common characteristics of the people who upset it. Use this knowledge to also be aware of when you need to be watchful for scared or aggressive behavior.


A ratio of "1 in 20" is a pretty high level of observed aggressive interactions. I would handle the dog as if it's a 'dangerous dog', making sure the dog never escapes, never slips the collar, breaks the leash, breaks away from the owner with leash trailing, never escapes the house or a fenced yard, etc. Severe aggression is rarely eliminated with any form of training, but if you can manage the dog and contain the dog to keep other people and pets from being harmed, then you could potentially keep the dog. If you cannot effectively contain such a dog, then you need to consider giving it up.


We cannot even know what other people think, or why they do things, let alone non-humans. So below is my speculation, which is the most plausible scenario to me.

I am almost sure that you walk her in the area where she lived before you rescued her. And her current behaviors are just the "normal" continuation of her previous life.

She most likely remembers the people who were aggressive to her or her puppies, the bad dogs who attacked her and all other kinds of problems she encountered.

But there is a difference now: she is part of a very special herd, and the therefore she has more trust to make her voice heard. Or maybe even attempt to pay some of the old debts.

What you can do: continue your relationship with her, be friends. Make sure that she trusts you. Greet her when she is nice, talk to her and explain that aggressiveness is not OK - when she is aggressive.

If you are patient, and if you pay attention, you will see the gradual improvement. Some treats are going to be very helpful occasionally.

  • Would you may add a source? Experience in similar situation? Website or book? Nov 15, 2022 at 14:01
  • Unfortunately, no book can tell us what a specific dog is thinking. As I mentioned in the answer, "this is mostly speculation".
    – virolino
    Nov 17, 2022 at 5:58
  • Then I would recommend you, to writw this as first sentence and not hidden in the middle... And you know, guessing is not recommended at this site :( Nov 17, 2022 at 10:13
  • @Allerleirauh: and asking about what dogs think is recommended? : ))
    – virolino
    Nov 17, 2022 at 10:34
  • I voted to close this question. You are free to do so too ^^ Nov 17, 2022 at 13:31

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